Quickest way to improvement? Practice. It’s a simple bit of advice that rings with absolute truth. Articles, tips, mentors, and study will never get you as far as rolling up your sleeves and getting down to work, be it animation or any other skill. Today we’ve compiled a list of exercises, like animation push-ups, that will get your art skills buff and toned.
adapted grom animator island:
Level 1 Exercises
(Do not discount their simplicity! Here you have the principals of animation, which all other animation is built on. They are worth your time and effort.)
-Ball Bouncing in place, no decay (loop)
-Ball Bouncing across the screen
-Brick falling from a shelf onto the ground
-Simple character head turn
-Character head turn with anticipation
-Character thinking [tougher than it sounds!] -Character waving (loop)
-Character falling (loop or hitting the ground)
-Character kicking a ball
Level 2 Exercises
-Change in Character emotion (happy to sad, sad to angry, etc.)
-Character jumping over a gap
-Standing up (from a chair)
-Character Walking (walk cycle)
-Character on a pogo stick (loop)
-Reaching for an object on a shelf overhead
-Quick motion smear/blur
-Taking a deep breath (difficult)
-A tree falling
-Character being hit by something simple (ball, brick, book)
-Character Running (run cycle)
Level 3 Exercises
-Close up of open hand closing into fist
-Close up of hand picking up a small object
-Character lifting a heavy object (with purpose!)
-Overlapping action (puffy hair, floppy ears, tail)
-Hammering a nail
-Stirring a soup pot and tasting from a spoon
-Character blowing up a balloon
-Character juggling (loop)
-Scared character peering around a corner
-Zipping up a jacket
-Licking and sealing an envelope
-Standing up (from the ground)
-Pressing an elevator button and waiting for it
Level 4 Exercises
-Character eating a cupcake
-Object falling into a body of water
-Two characters playing tug-of-war
-Character dealing a deck of cards out
-The full process of brushing one’s teeth
-A single piece of paper dropping through the air
-Run across screen with change in direction
-Sleeping character startled by alarm then returning to sleepy state
-Opening a cupboard and removing something inside
-Putting on a pair of pants
-Opening the “world’s best gift” and reacting
-Any of the above exercises using a very heavy character/object next to a very light character/object. Enhance the differences the weight change makes!
Do your best.
There is no reason to do these exercises poorly.
Give it your all.
You owe it to yourself to try your very best.
Something not quite right? Take the time to fix it.